Asymptomatic testing will now be available for "priority groups" who are most likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable or at-risk populations. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS

Nunavut reports two COVID-19 deaths, which are its first from the novel coronavirus

Nunavut is reporting its first two COVID-19 deaths.

The territory’s premier, health minister and chief public health officer say in a joint statement that a resident of Arviat was transported to a southern facility after developing complications from the novel coronavirus.

The statement says the government learned late Saturday afternoon that he’d died in hospital.

It also says a Rankin Inlet resident who contracted COVID-19 while in southern Canada developed complications and also died in hospital late Saturday.

The statement says the territory will not be releasing further information out of respect for both individuals and their families.

Nunavut has had 259 COVID-19 cases since the first case was confirmed in early November.